Do you trip a circuit breaker each morning when you make your coffee and toast? If tripping circuit breakers is a frequent occurrence in your home, your appliances may not be connected to dedicated circuits.
The National Electrical Code requires dedicated circuits for major electrical appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and electric water heaters because they ensure that appliances can operate safely without overloading the home’s electrical system.
What Is a Dedicated Circuit?
A dedicated circuit is set aside with a specific purpose, with its own circuit breaker in your electrical box. A dedicated circuit is intended for use with a single appliance or outlet. No other appliances or outlets will utilize the energy from this circuit, making it “dedicated” to that one purpose. Dedicated circuits allow appliances to access all the energy they need without overloading your system or tripping a circuit breaker. Kitchens may have several 20-amp dedicated circuits installed which only deliver power to one outlet along the countertop. This allows home cooks to run several small appliances at once without tripping a circuit breaker.
There are two levels of dedicated circuits:
20-Amp Dedicated Circuits
A 20-amp dedicated circuit supports mid-range devices, like home entertainment systems or kitchen outlets. Modern kitchens may have several 20-amp dedicated circuits installed to keep toaster ovens, coffee makers, and stand mixers running without interruption.
30-50 Amp Dedicated Circuits
Heavy-duty appliances that draw a lot of power like clothes dryers, water heaters, and ovens need a 30- to 50-amp dedicated circuit. These circuit breakers typically offer “double pole” protection, which means they prevent the circuit from drawing too much power and possibly starting a fire.
Why Are Dedicated Circuits Important?
Dedicated circuits protect your appliances, your family, and your home.
- Appliances without a dedicated circuit may draw more current than the circuit can handle, tripping breakers, blowing fuses, and overheating wire insulation causing breakdown and the possibility of electrical fires.
- A dedicated circuit’s wiring is just as important as having a functional circuit breaker. Appliances that are wired to a dedicated circuit with incorrect wire size and insufficient amperage for their needs may overheat, possibly resulting in a fire.
Which Appliances Need a Dedicated Circuit?
The National Electrical Code requires that every large appliance be served by a separate, dedicated circuit, not shared with any other appliance. Breakers that are constantly tripping are a good indication of appliances in need of a dedicated circuit. If it has a motor, it typically requires its own circuit. Unsure? Contact a Mr. Electric professional for help.
Appliances that need a dedicated circuit include:
- Electric ranges
- Wall ovens
- Large Microwaves
- Garbage disposals
- Toaster ovens
- Heating and air conditioning units
- Water heaters
- Sump pumps
- Water pumps
- Central vacuums
- Hot tubs
- Specific areas of your home such as bathrooms, kitchen counter area, and garages
Trust Mr. Electric for Dedicated Circuit Installations and Replacements
If you’re tired of your circuit breakers constantly tripping, contact Mr. Electric today about adding or upgrading dedicated circuits in your home. Call us at 844-866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.